Driving participation and investment in B2B trade shows: The organizer view

Roberto Mora Cortez*, Wesley J. Johnston, Srinath Gopalakrishna

*Corresponding author for this work

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Trade shows (TSs) are a cost-effective method for companies to meet with customers and prospects, network with different stakeholders, and introduce new products. Although short-term, face-to-face interactions can offer cost-savings by reducing the sales cycle length or by developing closer ties with strategic partners, questions remain regarding firms’ expectations of TS participation. For example, what are the drivers of business-to-business (B2B) TS participation and total investment? This four-study research evaluates the total investment of prospective exhibitors in relation to the rationale for exhibiting at a TS and adopts the organizer's view as the main interpretative lens. The data analysis entails Tobit modeling, replication, and difference-in-differences modeling. The results suggest that exhibitor participation is related to performance expectations. By incorporating the means-end theory, this study examines the role of intangible long-term expectations (image-building, relationship-building, motivation-enhancing) versus tangible short-term expectations (sales-related, information-gathering) in determining TS investment (as a proxy of perceived value).

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Business Research
Pages (from-to)1092-1105
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

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  • Difference-in-differences
  • Field experiment
  • Marketing budget
  • Means-end theory
  • Tobit model
  • Trade shows


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